Negative Space Handbook Blog Hop

Negative space is one of my favorite tools to use in my modern quilt designs, and I was ecstatic when Sylvia Schaefer released her book, The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook.  In this book, Sylvia takes the concept of Negative Space and breaks it down into eight manageable sections for the reader to explore.   These sections can be used on their own or mixed and matched to develop your own unique designs.  While there is a project to illustrate each type of negative space, the reader is actively encouraged to apply each approach to their own original designs.  This combination makes the book perfect for all levels of quilters.  At the end of this post, you’ll have an opportunity to win a digital copy of The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook, so I hope you’ll keep reading!

Sylvia has a great eye for negative space, and I have been a fan of her work ever since I saw her quilt, The Disintegration of the Persistence of Artichokes at an American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah one year.

The Persistence of the Disintegration of Artichokes by Sylvia Schaefer

A couple of years later we had our quilts (both using lots of negative space!) hanging side by side in the winner’s section of the Modern category at another AQS Paducah show.  This time it was Meeting of the Geese that I was admiring.

Meeting of the Geese by Sylvia Schaefer

Most recently, I was honored to quilt Northern Lights for the book.  The edge to edge motif is a digital download by Anita Shackelford.

Northern Lights by Sylvia Schaefer

The eight approaches to negative space design in the handbook are:

  1. Removing Elements
  2. Standing Alone
  3. Oversized Simple Blocks and Inverting
  4. Setting Rows
  5. Scattering
  6. Disintegration
  7. Making Shapes
  8. Extending Lines

I am looking forward to further exploring each of these approaches to negative space, but the one I couldn’t wait to try was scattering.  I have made several plaid quilts, and I thought some of Sylvia’s suggestions would be fun to try in creating a new design.  (Please check out this post about Infused Plaid to see how my typical design process differs from what I am doing here!)  In the book, Sylvia mentions using a random number generator to determine block placement.  This really caught my attention, and before I even went to the next page of the book, I googled “random number generator” and started sketching.

For this design, I started by setting a few parameters.  The grid is 34 units by 34 units, and I decided to place 34 colorful squares into that space.  I used a random number generator for each of the horizontal and vertical coordinates, then rolled a game die to determine the color of the square.  Since the linear matchstick quilting that creates the plaid effect will extend through the squares, each row and column was assigned a color for all future squares that were placed in them.

Once the main pieced section was developed, I decided that extra negative space would really set off the design.  Considering the concept of breathing space  that is introduced in the “Standing Alone” chapter, I decided that the top and right sides of the main section would be about half the width as the borders on the bottom and left sides.  Here is the quilt top, complete with borders.  I always make these plaid quilt tops a few inches larger than the desired finished size.  This allows me to block the quilt and trim it to the size that looks best.

When I add the quilting to this piece, I will be incorporating a third type of negative space usage to the quilt, extending lines.  I love to allow colorful quilting thread to take on a staring role, and this should be a an interesting way to infuse color into the surrounding space.  Hopefully, I will be sharing the final quilt with you soon!

Here’s the exciting part!  If you would like to win a digital copy of The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook, just leave a comment on this post.  Any comment counts, but if you are looking for inspiration, tell us about your favorite quilt using negative space.  It can be a quilt you made, or a quilt created by someone else.  One entry per person, please.

One week from today, Monday, March 25, 2019, I will use a random number generator to select a winner of a digital copy of the book.

You can also order a copy directly from the author!

There is lots of inspiration at the other stops on the blog tour, so I hope you check out these other negative space inspired posts!

March 11 – C&T Publishing – blog tour kickoff

March 12 – Nicole Neblett – Mama Love Quilts

March 13 – Christa Watson – Christa Quilts

March 14 – Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting

March 15 – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill – Whole Circle Studio

March 18 – Cassandra Ireland Beaver – The (Not So) Dramatic Life

March 19 – Yvonne Fuchs – Quilting Jetgirl

March 20 – Sarah Ruiz – Saroy

March 21 – Sarah Goer – Sarah Goer Quilts

March 22 – Sylvia Schaefer – Flying Parrot Quilts – tour wrap-up

 

 

2018 Year in Review

Around the beginning of every year, I like to look back on the previous year.  I have usually accomplished more than it feels like I have, and 2018 was no exception.

  • I started the year with a 100 Day project which culminated in Resonance.  Aurifil liked it so much they displayed it in their booth at Spring Quilt Market.  Later in the year, I became an Aurifil Artisan!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

  • QuiltCon 2018 also included four of my quilts in the contest.  Lateral Ascension (upper left of the photo below) even received third place in the Minimalism category! (It also received an honorable mention at AQS Spring Paducah and a 2nd Place at AQS Grand Rapids!)

 

  • My first cover quilt also came around last year.  Raise the Roof is a particular favorite of mine, and it also received a third place at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.
  • Upward Perspective was a mini made for a Curated Quilts Challenge, and it was selected for inclusion in the magazine!

  • In 2018 I also started my second Block of the Month with Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  This year’s quilt has pictorial representations of key Columbus landmarks.

  • I also designed the 2018 Row by Row for Dabble and Stitch.  The theme was music, and I based the block on the state song, Beautiful Ohio.

  • My most exciting moment of 2018 was having my quilt, Infused Plaid, added to the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum.

Photo courtesy of The National Quilt Museum

  • The 2018 colors of the year were Ultra-Violet (Pantone) and Tiger Lily (Kona), and I had a great time putting them together into this quilt!  Zenith received a second place in the Modern category at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.

  • As 2018 drew to a close, I had exciting news that three of my quilts, including Complementary Convergence (below), were selected for QuiltCon 2019!  I have added sleeves and labels to them this week, and will be shipping them off at the beginning of next week- now that is a great way to start 2019!

QuiltCon Jury Results

Every year I enter at least seven juried shows, and QuiltCon is probably the one I fret over the most.  It is definitely the show that I have received the most rejections from!  Thankfully, the jury results come in very quickly for this show- just 17 days this year.  There were only 400 accepted quilts out of over 1750 entries.  With less than 23% of quilts accepted, it’s like going through the college admissions process each year!  I am ecstatic that this year three of my quilts will be in Nashville!  Below are all four of my entries with the description I submitted with each.  The first three were accepted, and the last was not, but more on that later.

Ebb and Flow (51″x64″) is my entry into the Two Color Challenge.

“This quilt stemmed from a desire to create a design that contained equal amounts of two colors while allowing each color to take turns holding a dominant position.   The choice of high contrast black and white fabrics enhance the overall effect of the composition.  The pieced strips in this quilt start at 1/8” wide and increase incrementally across the quilt.”

Complementary Convergence (66″x78″) is in the Use of Negative Space Category.

“Complementary Convergence is based on two separate diamond shaped motifs containing small pieced sections of complementary colors, one bright pink and green, the second turquoise and orange.  Each colorful section of fabric has matchstick quilting running through it that is done with a matching 12wt thread.  This extends the design across the quilt and activates the surrounding negative space.  The magic of the design happens when the quilting lines from the separate motifs converge at either side to create a new, dynamic, and entirely quilted plaid pattern.”

Synthesized Slivers (22″x19″) is in the small quilt category.  I have entered a small quilt almost every year, and this is the first time my entry in that area has been successful!

“Irregular, broken blocks merge together to create a cohesive whole in this improvisational quilt.  Breaks in each block are mended with the addition of a contrasting sliver of fabric.  These unexpected shots of color, metallic flashes, and shiny silk bring a sense of luxury to the utilitarian aesthetic of the dominant fabrics.”

“Resonance uses colorful quilting thread to create a sense of outward movement and reverberation from central points.  Thread that coordinates with each fabric creates a blending sensation as the quilting merges the appliquéd circles with each other and the background.  This quilt was my first 100 day project that ran from New Year’s Day 2018 to my birthday, which fell on the 100th day of the year.”

Resonance (79″x79″) was not accepted into the appliqué category, and I’m fine with that.  This quilt was completed in April, and was the result of my first 100 days project.  In the eight months since its completion, Resonance has been to Spring Quilt Market with the Aurifil booth, and it was in all three fall American Quilter’s Society Shows.  Between these four events, it has been seen by thousands of people already, and I hope some of them were inspired by it!

Ultimately, my main hope is that my quilts can inspire others as much as I am inspired every day by the work I see on Instagram, blogs, and in person at my guild meetings.  I am so excited for February to roll around so I can see and meet all of the amazing quilters at QuiltCon-whether or not they have quilts on display there!

Challenge Swap

For the third year, a small quilting group I belong to has done a fun challenge and swap combination project.  Around September or October we each bring a piece of fabric (fat quarter or larger) to a meeting and place it in a brown paper bag.  One by one we each pull out a piece of fabric and try to guess who put that fabric into the bag.  We are surprisingly accurate!  We then take the fabric that we pulled out and make a gift for the person who originally put the fabric in the swap.  It can be anything sewn, and there is usually a wide range of projects that come out of this challenge and swap.

This year the fabric I pulled out of the bag was a cute rectangular dot print on a light green background.  Since the green is so light, it almost read as a neutral.  It looked good with so many different colors!  In the end, I loved the line and dot effect of the black and white batik with the dot print.

I decided to make a project bag with pockets around the outside to hold supplies and notions.  The lower half of the bag has a structure of Annie’s Soft and Stable so that it will stand easily on its own.  The bag is fully lined so there won’t be a chance of having a work in progress catching on any seams or picking up unwanted threads.  I thought the orange was a fun, unexpected pop of color, and it is also a favorite of the swap recipient!

 

Quilts Accepted into AQS Daytona Beach!

I have definitely caught the quilt show bug!  When I first started entering, I would enter a show here and there, mostly if I thought I might be able to attend.  But once my quilts started getting accepted, I couldn’t help entering more too!  And after I received my first ribbon at a national show, there was no going back.

Quilt shows have their own cycles and rhythms, and your quilts have to be available for each show for a lot longer than the week the show takes place.  You also have to enter well before the show takes place.  The entry deadline is often 2-4 months before the show week.  Submitting entries, receiving jury notifications, shipping the quilts, and (if you’re lucky) attending some shows can quickly become a year-round event.  It can make for some fun days if, like last Friday, you are submitting to one show while receiving notifications for another!

The Daytona Beach American Quilter’s Society show is the first notification of the 2019 shows, and I am ecstatic to have four quilts that were juried into the contest.

Lateral Ascension is in Large Quilts: Stationary Machine Quilted

Taking Flight is in Large Quilts: Movable Machine Quilted

Zenith is in Wall Quilts: Stationary Machine Quilted

Raise the Roof is in Wall Quilts: Movable Machine Quilted

I have never been to the Daytona Beach show, but I hope my quilts have a wonderful time there!